Just like the Twilight movies, Witch & Hero 2 proves that critical reviews are no deterrent when it comes to making sequels. Most reputable reviewers lambasted the original game, but I rather enjoyed it (poor taste like that may explain why GameRankings.com declined to add my blog to their list of accredited video game websites.) Taking place years after the first title, Witch and Hero 2 begins with the protagonists of the original getting captured by a wicked Demon King. With the world’s saviours encased within a block of ice, the safety of the kingdom falls upon a new 8-bit looking duo.
Witch & Hero 2’s main campaign, which spans across thirty levels, plays much like its predecessor. Completing a stage requires that the titular fantasy warriors battle wave upon wave of cartoony monsters. Slain beasts drop blood, which is used to power Witch’s spells, in addition to gold and crystals (used for purchasing new gear and raising their HP/MP stats respectively.) Were the game differs from the original is that both characters are now controllable. The analogue stick is responsible for Hero’s movements whilst the face buttons direct Witch’s steps. Simultaneously controlling a party of two, amidst the chaos of combat, can be tricky at times… although I would say that, as I am a guy (my gender is infamous for its weak multitasking skills.)
For the most part Hero is expected to engage in melee combat whilst Witch pelts enemies from afar with spells. Tanking damage with the sorceress is not recommended, as the game will immediately end should her health hit zero. Hero on the other hand is more resilient. When the brave knight’s HP depletes he will collapse for a few seconds, but after a brief nap he will recover – allowing him to return to the fray. One thing I noticed when controlling the valiant twosome is that Witch walks much slower than Hero (despite wearing light robes as opposed to heavy armour.) Are the developers insinuating that females are less sturdy and nimble than males? How sexist! Anita Sarkeesian will have a field day with this game. Well, she would… had she not abandoned her controversial video game series. She has left that project unfinished and is now begging for more cash to start a new line of documentaries (what a shyster.)
My rating for Witch & Hero 2 is three stars. In terms of visuals and gameplay Witch & Hero 2 is virtually identical to the first title, which is great news for anyone who enjoyed the previous instalment. Aside from controlling two characters, the only difference I spotted between the two games is that the sequel features bipedal treasure chests. If you wish to seize their contents you’ll have to chase down the buggers. Wow, the mimics in this handheld RPG sure are cowardly. Shame that their Dark Soul counterparts aren’t this docile. Over the years those carnivorous fiends have dined on many of my unfortunate high calorie From Software characters.
If you seek a short and sweet action RPG, for the Nintendo 3DS, Witch & Hero 2 isn’t a bad choice. For the measly sum of three quid you get a few hours worth of entertainment, complete with humorous cut scenes and some delightfully quaint visuals. When compared to the first game, the sequel is much easier thanks to a less taxing final boss and the ability to position Witch away from danger. At the time of writing prospective buyers can download a free demo off the e-Shop, to see if the full game is to their tastes. Whether you love or loathe Witch & Hero 2 will ultimately depend on what you think of the simplistic combat system. Casual players should have fun, but anyone who demands depth may dislike how the encounters simply require that you bump uglies… um I mean bump into uglies. Heaven forbid that a Nintendo based release contains smut!